To paraphrase the Grateful Dead...
I just had a very surreal couple of minutes. I was doing a bit of account maintenance on google+ adding friends to circles, following some of the woodworking stars when I noticed Christopher Schwarz' name in a suggestion.
I just had to take a moment and appreciate that uber-strange world we share. Here I am just your average joe, and thanks to reaching out and making a couple of connections, suddenly I'm getting connected with some big names in the woodworking sphere of things.
I listen to Marc Matt & Shannon and they relate just how approachable these teachers are, and I believe them. It is still just a tad unreal to me though, that thanks to the internet, I have even that peripheral connection with a published author and teacher.
I suppose it isn't all that strange though when I truly think about it. A few years back I attended one of Bill Grumbine's 5 Barns gatherings. While there I made dozens of friends, not the least of which was Bill himself, but I also met Doug Thompson from Thompson lathe tools, Ellis Wallentine who runs the WoodCentral forums, and Andy DiPietro who is a phenomenal turner just to name a few.
I mention all of this not to name drop, or to puff up with self importance. I know, really KNOW just who I am, an average guy who has a woodshop in his backyard. The really cool thing is that because of that interest, I've managed to meet many great folks. However famous they are in our shared hobby/avocation/profession (depending on their level of fame, not mine), To a man (not to exclude the women) they've been gracious with their time and always willing to share their expertise. If you're new to the craft, I want to encourage you to reach out and ask questions, or simply to make a connection, you never know where it may lead!